Erectile Dysfunction

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Most men experience some difficulty with their penis becoming less erected or staying firm. Having problems in getting an erection may be a cause of concern for many. It affects self-confidence and contributes to relationship issues. Perhaps, it could be a sign of some underlying health condition and needs treatment, such as heart disease.

Usually, men with issues related to sexual dysfunction rarely talk about their concerns. However, there is a need for a discussion because the condition is not understood well.

ED is a cause of concern only if your sexual performance has been impossible on a number of occasions.

There are treatments that can help cope with the condition.

ED Mostly Happens:

  • When blood flow in the penis is limited, or nerves are harmed
  • Due to emotional reasons or stress
  • There are any underlying conditions, like atherosclerosis, blockage of arteries, high blood pressure or sugar.

As a rule, what’s right for your heart health is also good for your sexual health.

How Does An Erection Work?

During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals that boost the blood flow into the penis. This blood flows into two erection chambers in the penis, made up of spongy muscle tissue and called corpus cavernosum. The corpus cavernosum chambers are not void otherwise.

When a male experiences erection, the spongy tissues relax and hold blood. The pressure of the blood in the chamber increases the size of the penis and make it firm. After a person has reached the orgasm, another nerve signal to the penis can cause the spongy muscle tissues in the penis to relax and contract and release the blood back into circulation. This is how the erection in the penis come down.

During the bouts of arousal, the penis is soft and limp. You may have also felt the penis’s size increasing or decreasing with changes in temperature. This is normal and reflects the blood coming and leaving into the penis.


The signs linked to erectile dysfunction include:

  • trouble getting an erection
  • difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities
  • reduced interest in sex

Other sexual disorders related to ED include:

  • Premature or delayed ejaculation
  • Anorgasmia, or the inability to achieve orgasm after ample stimulation

Your doctor will do diagnostic tests to know the exact cause of the symptoms.


ED can be a result of physical and emotional health problems. Some risk factors may include:

  • Being over age 50
  • High blood sugar (Diabetes)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Using drugs
  • Consuming too much alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Not compulsory everyone who is ageing is going to be affected with ED.

Physical Causes

The many physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:

Insufficient Blood Flow To The Penis

A variety of health conditions results in impaired blood flow to the penis, such as hardening arteries, high blood sugar, heart disease, and smoking, etc.

The Penis Does Not Hold Blood

If the blood does not stay in the penis, a man may not keep up with an erection. This issue can affect people of any age.

Obstruction In The Nerve Signals From The Brain To The Penis

Certain diseases or injuries can also impede the nerve signals to the penis. Diabetes also affects small blood vessels or leads to disrupted nerve signals.


Some treatments like radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancers in the lower abdomen or pelvis may affect the function of the penis. Treatments to cancers like colon-rectal or bladder can also leave a man with ED.


Drugs used to treat various health conditions also alters erections. Talk to your doctor about the potential downsides of those medicines.

Emotional Causes Of ED

Your sexual activity has a lot to do with your mind and body. Emotional or relationship problems can drastically impact ED.

Some emotional triggers linked to ED are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress at home or work
  • Stress from social, cultural or religious activities
  • Too much stress about sex performance.